Karina Chronicles

#ThrowbackThursday – Handbag Therapy

Fajr is a freelance writer, digital dame, vintage lover, WordPress stalker and all around pursuer of her dreams! She writes about love, fashion, life and blogging at Stylish Thought.  Pop over and say hi!

Handbags are one of those perennial accessories that are lauded as must-haves one day and fashion don’ts the next. The 2000′s was a Period of Purse Overdose, with the It-bags taking over the runways. Chloe. Louis Vuitton, Prada and Marc Jacobs fed our handbag lust with fine leathers, sturdy straps and varnished clasps and even a mountain of trinkets to hang from your purse. The accessories had ACCESSORIES! The madness had to stop and eventually some cracker jack editor declared the It-bag dead.

The days of the next must-have, $1,000 bag are over and have ushered in the era of creating a timeless bag collection of Go-To purses. So where does that leave all of the recovering Bag-Aholics? While I’ve never been a handbag connoisseur myself (I’m an expert at baggage, not bags), I do appreciate a well crafted leather good and there are certain styles that I go to time after time for different functions and outfits. A well curated bag wardrobe should be like an ensemble cast, each character has a distinct voice but complements the others well.

Here is my ensemble cast of handbags every recovering Bag-Aholic should own:


The Workhorse is the bag that takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. It’s your daily handbag, pulls double duty as a lunch bag, holds your daily planner, numerous books and tons of junk us ladies love to lug around. The workhorse is the star of the show and should be sturdy and substantial enough to withstand the daily use and abuse it’s certain to receive.


While the Workhorse is the brute of the family, the Painted Lady is like your elderly grandmother who wears pearls for Sunday brunch and secretly laces her coffee with brandy. The Painted Lady purse often has a vintage clasp and structured handle and it’s perfect for your full skirts and sweater sets.


She loves the nightlife, she loves to boogie! The clutch is the wild child of the bunch. A purse with no handle, she’s gone topless like Girls Gone Wild. The clutch is a perfect grab for the Saturday night out and looks dynamic with an evening gown. Who cares if you can barely fit your keys and lip gloss in one, that’s all you’ll need.


Tough leather, varnished studs and grommets; the Wrangler is rugged and raring to go. It can come in a variety of styles, from a slouch bag or over-the-shoulder, it’s great for an outdoor trip or weekender bag. Now all you need is a hot cowboy to go along with it.


A girl’s got to shop and when she does she needs a bag that will work with her and not against her. The Shopaholic is such a bag, with a single long strap for over-the-shoulder wear and deep pouches for your Granola bar and water bottle. Shopping is a competitive sport!


If you’re still confused about your Purse-onality check this incredible flowchart


I live for a Workhorse bag, probably because I’m secretly a hoader and need to carry at least 3 books on daily basis. Somebody call A&E!

What bags do you swear by?

[Originally published on karinachronicles.com in Jan 2013]

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